Monday, January 29, 2007

Suicide Bomber Strikes Eilat

A View of Eilat (Photo: Henrik Reinholdson)

Israel was due for another suicide bombing. At around 9:40 AM local time a suicide bomber blew himself up in an Eilat bakery. So far, the attack has claimed the lives of 3 people (Ynet, Ha'aretz).

The targeting of a bakery (talk about a soft target) and the choice of Eilat, a resort town on the Red Sea, across from the Jordanian port of Aqaba and far from the center of the country, suggest just how difficult it has become for the terrorist organizations to mount suicide attacks inside Israel.

Islamic Jihad and the Al-Aqsa Brigades have taken responsibility. It is possible, however, that this was not the work of a group from the territories but of militants from Egypt or even Jordan.

There were some doubts about whether the bombing had a terrorist or a criminal background. In its initial dispatch from the scene, Ynet quoted a resident of the neighborhood named Shosh, who told reporters that she feels "like I am in Texas or the Wild West," (!) adding that she had often heard shouting from the houses nearby. Ynet readers were also quick to cast blame on local mafia elements. A reader who identified himself as Alperon from Yafo, declared that "this is what happens when you don't pay protection money on time." The Alperons are one of Israel's most infamous organized crime families.

1 comment:

John said...

This suicide bombing proves once again the extent to which competition between different Palestinian terrorist groups fuels the decision to carry out attacks. The attack in Eilat was timed to embarrass Hamas and Fatah, which have been embroiled in conflict for the past months. It seems that the Islamic Jihad wanted to send Palestinians the message that the movement is above domestic rivalries. It will be interesting to see what else is revealed about how the bomber reached Eilat. If he did so via the Rafah border crossing, the EU and PA mission there will have to review its procedures. Palestinians could be in store for another closure of the border crossing separating the Gaza Strip from the Egyptian Sinai.